Football Season Guide

Aston Villa


Diego Carlos (def) Sevilla; Philippe Coutinho (mid) Barcelona – loan made permanent; Robin Olsen (gk) Roma – loan made permanent; Ludwig Augustinsson (def) Sevilla – on loan; Boubacar Kamara (mid) – free; Anwar El Ghazi (mid) Everton – end of loan; Frédéric Guilbert (def) Strasbourg – end of loan;


Trezeguet (att) Trabzonspor; Wesley (att) Levante – on loan; Matt Targett (def) Newcastle; Conor Hourihane (mid) released; Lovre Kalinic (gk) released; Jaden Philogene-Bidace (att) Cardiff - on loan; Carney Chukwuemeka (mid) Chelsea

Dean Smith became one of the season’s early managerial casualties when he was given his marching orders back in November, making way for Steven Gerrard in the Villa Park dugout. The former Rangers boss made an immediate impact and January signings helped Villa to bounce back and finish 14th after a slow start to the season. Philippe Coutinho’s loan move was made permanent after the Brazilian playmaker shined in his Premier League return, while solid centre-back Diego Carlos signed from Sevilla to beef up Villa’s defence and highly-rated Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara joined on a free transfer. Gerrard hasn’t lost any important player and the team is expected to be stronger this season. Talented players Jacob Ramsey, Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash have a full Premier League season under their belt, while Coutinho looks eager to revive his career at Villa after an unsuccessful spell at Barcelona. Gerrard, who will have the opportunity to oversee the team’s preseason preparations this time, has a squad that consists of prodigious youngsters and experienced players – the perfect combination in his bid to put together a solid side. Their lack of consistency was their main issue last season, as Villa managed to record three wins in a row just once in their unsuccessful bid to secure a top-half finish.


Following their investment last January and this summer, the top half must be the absolute minimum Aston Villa aim for next season.